Much has been written about Chihuahua Beach, one of Uruguay's two official naturist (read nudist) beaches, and for good reason. If you like wide, natural, undeveloped dunescapes you should make a point of visiting this spot just 90 minutes by car from Montevideo and a stone's throw from Punta del Este.
Most importantly, keep in mind that naturist means clothing optional. You don't have to bare all, but you do need to respect all – remember that taking photos or videos of people in nothing more than what god gave them is totally uncool.
Chihuahua beach is also quite popular with the LGBT community, especially gay men. The guys tend to set up in the "western" end of the beach (turning right when you enter from parking), close to the natural lagoon and largest dunes. Everyone is very friendly, so don't hesitate to start up a conversation.
During the summer months (December through mid-March), the beach cantina Explora is open to serve your daytime beverage and dining needs. They also host sunset events with live music and dancing on the beach. If you can't bear (or bare!) to get off your beach towel, vendors walk the beach selling beverages and snacks. There's also a massage shack on the beach – a great way to relax completely and with a masseur worth a second look....
You’re still not officially at the ocean, but you would never know it from the waves. Be careful in the open water and consider a dip in the natural lagoon as an option. Also make sure to bring sun protection; a beach umbrella, hat, and ample sunscreen. The shoulder seasons – October-November and April-May can also bring very nice beach weather. You'll have the beach to yourself, but the cantina will also be closed.
Getting there: It's easiest to arrive in a private vehicle, but the nearest bus stop is only a 15 minute walk. Use an app like Moovit to determine your route.
In case you don’t have access to GPS, private vehicle directions are as follows:
Heading east from Montevideo on the Interbalneario Route, about 2.5 kms[TD1] after passing the Punta del Este airport look for small signs indicating “Chihuahua Playa Naturista”. Turn right off the main road and follow Avenida Las Amarras down to the beach (about 2 kms).
From Punta del Este head west on the Interbalneario Route toward Montevideo. You’ll pass Punta Ballena and a traffic circle at the intersection with Route 12. Stay on the Interbaleario past the next traffic circle and within 500 meters look for the sign to Chihuahua. Take a left off the highway and then an immediate right on the access road, which will take you to Avenida Las Amarras. Turn left and head down to the beach.
Follow the signs to the beach and if possible park within sight of one of the "volunteer" attendants, whom you should tip a small amount at the end of the day. Crime is generally not a problem, but it's always best to be safe – and don't leave your valuables unattended on the beach.
Accommodations: There are several hotel options in Chihuahua, as well as rentals through the usual online services. Gay men will want to consider staying at Hotel Undarius (open October – April), a small, relaxed, clothing optional resort with a lovely garden, pool and jacuzzi.